The House by the Side of the Road

This poem represents the human experience, and in it, the varying cast of characters that share the stage of life with us. As fellow travelers crossing over to “stage right” or “stage left”, we assume that our roles have been permanently cast. With our character and lines already set, we have forgotten that we are only actors playing a part.

As actors following yesterday’s scripts, we could allow our negative opinions and left-over prejudices and attitudes to dictate how we will treat another. Or, with the continual conscious choice of love, kindness, tolerance and compassion, we could change the script of this world, thereby, making this stage a better place for life to play out.

By being a friend to all characters on the stage of life, whatever part they playing at the time, we are not playing a role that is above or below them, but we are recognizing them, just as we are, fellow travelers crossing the stage of life. With this realization of equality, lies the hope and beauty of a new world.

The House By the Side of the Road

Let me live in a house by the side of the road,
Where the race of men go by –
The men who are good and the men who are bad,
As good and as bad as I.
I would not sit in the scorner’s seat,
Or hurl the cynic’s ban;
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I see from my house by the side of the road,
By the side of the highway of life,
The men who press with the ardor of hope,
The men who are faint with the strife.
But I turn not away from their smiles nor their tears –
Both parts of an infinite plan;
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead
And mountains of wearisome height;
And the road passes on through the long afternoon
And stretches away to the night.
But still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice,
And weep with the strangers that moan,
Nor live in my house by the side of the road
Like a man who dwells alone.

Let me live in my house by the side of the road
Where the race of men go by –
They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,
Wise, foolish – so am I.
Then why should I sit in the scorner’s seat
Or hurl the cynic’s ban?
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

-by Sam Walter Foss

One thought on “The House by the Side of the Road

  1. Great poem. Yes, we are all actors in a play. We are here to afford shelter and comfort just as the house by the side of the road. Not to judge or scorn because love emits an everlasting virtue that increases seven times seven. Yet, we are to know whst part we play and protect the basic needs we afford, or the house at the side of the road will cease to exist.

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